M is for Main Character #AtoZChallenge

MjpgIt is the letter M today on the A to Z Challenge. I have previously written about antagonists, minor characters and sidekicks, but today I want to focus on the main character or characters in your novel.

I can’t stress enough that you need a well-developed main character for your novel. I can watch a movie or read a book that has a so-so plot if the main character is someone whom I like, am interested in/care about or can relate to.

Obviously, when developing a character, you will need their physical description (tall, blond hair, blue eyes, short, plump, scar on the forehead), but you need to know so much more than that. You need to know everything about them even if you don’t think it is relative to your plot.

You should know their family history, where they were born, who raised them, what happened to them as a child, their love life, his or her life experiences as each of these made your character into the person he or she is today.

Some areas to consider when developing your character…

1.)    What does he or she want?

2.)    Are there any obstacles they will need to overcome?

3.)    Who is their best friend? What is their family like?

4.)    Do they have any talents?

5.)    What is their strength? Weakness?

6.)    How do they look? How do they act? Do they have any unique mannerisms?

This is by no means a complete list.

Another great way to help develop your character is to interview them. Ask them some of these questions and more and let them answer in their own words.

Remember to give your character flaws and not just some random traits. There should be reasons behind those flaws.

Basically, you should know your character inside and out. By understanding their motives, their emotions and their response to what happens in your story, you will write better. You will write so your characters come alive for your readers and so then will your story.

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One thought on “M is for Main Character #AtoZChallenge

  1. Liz A. says:

    #1 reminds me of a movie where the MC was an actress, and when trying to teach someone else how to act (in a local play) she had them focus on what their character wanted.

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